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PCOS - Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Understanding & Treating, Naturally

Unfortunately the exact cause of PCOS is not completely known but what is known is that it is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. It is a condition that affects a woman's hormone levels resulting in the production of higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones.

PCOS can begin shortly after puberty, but usually develops during the later teen years and early adulthood. Because symptoms may be attributed to other causes or go unnoticed, PCOS may go undiagnosed for some time. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs. The follicles keep growing and form multiple "cysts." called Follicular cysts but have been known to go away on their own within 1-3 months.

Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. PCOS causes insulin resistance and inflammation & can be negatively affected by diet, nutrition, lifestyle and exposure to toxins.


Signs of PCOS:

Irregular cycles

Absent period

Abnormal mid-cycle bleeding

Excessive bleeding

Alopecia

Hirsutism (excessive body hair)

Acne

Acanthuses Nigricans

Polycystic ovaries

Ovarian cysts

Mood disorders

Obesity/weight gain

Recurrent miscarriage



Supplements that can benefit people with PCOS:

A high quality multivitamin

Greens powder

Vitamin D

Maca powder

Evening primrose oil

Fish oil with an EPA of 900 and a DHA of 600

GDA (Glucose Disposal Agent)


Nutrition: It is important to understand that treating the symptoms of PCOS means reducing insulin resistance, that means changing your dietary habits to help you, help yourself

Eat 5 small meals a day

Balance your protein with equal amounts of carbs

The TYPE of carbs you eat are really important here.. you want whole grain/sprouted grain and you want to avoid processed carbs that spike insulin

Ezekiel bread

Quinoa

Brown rice

Buckwheat are great choices

Eat low glycemic index foods that won’t affect insulin as much: So avoid anything “refined”.

Kale, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower or ANY coniferous vegetables

Beans/lentils

Grapefruit and apples

Walnuts/almonds

Avoid foods such as: pancake mixes, syrups, sugar, white potatoes, jams, white bread, pasta and soda

Eat high FIBRE - “refined’ means it’s basically been stripped of fibre.

Get in plenty of essential fatty acids

High Glycemic Carbs means that it gets converted quickly causing an insulin spike, this is what you want to avoid

Take 1 GDA with every carb meal

Note any food that is refined or white (with the exception of cauliflower) means it has been stripped of ALL nutrients and fibre. Sugar, salt, breads, pasta, rice etc. This is a basic tool when shopping that doesn’t require a lot of effort

A Example Food Day: This is based on 1500cals

Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with 1 tbsp coconut oil, spinach, and ½ cup black beans

Snack: unsweetened coconut milk, ½ peach, ¼ tsp cinnamon, hemp or pea protein powder and spirulina (make a smoothie)

Lunch: Organic turkey lettuce wrap (3 oz turkey) with celery sticks and 1/3 cup hummus on the side + 1 serving nuts

Dinner: Organic chicken or salmon (3 oz) with steamed broccoli and ½ cup baked yam

Snack before bed: Organic unsweetened yogurt with ½ cup blueberries and ½ tsp chia seeds + 1 tbsp almond butter

Quantities and macros will vary individually...this is just an example

Since exercise and weight control is a huge benefit to treated and managing PCOS, it is also important to know, what types of exercise is best. The key to controlling PCOS is reducing insulin resistance. Strength training does just that….of course:)

Strength Training increases the size of our skeletal muscle and can enhance the ‘muscles’ ability to manage glucose. Experts agree that these adaptations result in increased insulin sensitivity. Studies have not only observed this change in healthy women, but have also seen type II diabetics improve their insulin sensitivity through regular strength training.

Muscles fight belly fat Your body dislikes belly fat almost as much as you hate seeing it poke out over your jeans. Excess belly fat puts us at risk for PCOS complications like high cholesterol and metabolic syndrome. In an effort to trim the fat, many women gravitate toward exercises like crunches that target the abdominal muscles or worse, diet!! Strength training does a much better job of fighting abdominal fat so they would see better results from a pair of dumbbells and some squats! A University of Pennsylvania study found that overweight or obese women, ages 24–44, who were assigned to an hour of weight training twice a week reduced their proportion of body fat by nearly 4%. I have seen clients with phenomenal results in only ½ hr 3 days per week.

Stress & Cortisol Research has shown that engaging in excessive amounts of HIIT can be counterproductive for women with PCOS so sticking to a whole body strength training program has proven to help relieve symptoms. While there may be concern for testosterone levels with weight training, research has shown that there is no difference in testosterone levels between heavily trained female athletes and sedentary women. Thus, women will not flood their bodies with androgens by taking up strength training. In fact, if regular strength training helps you reduce your insulin resistance, you might even see your androgens normalize a bit.

Even though there is no ultimate “cure”, there are many ways to treat symptoms and even limit them enabling you to live a very full and happy life! Feel free to reach out for a plan designed especially for those just beginning a weight training program!


Here is a sample grocery list that you may find helpful:

PROTEIN SOURCES

Lean meat is best

Fish

Salmon - wild contains less mercury

Shrimp

Chicken & beef - should be organic simply because of less artificial hormones

Eggs

VEGETABLES - any but green are always best with the exception of cauliflower

Beans

Brussel Sprouts

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Asparagus

Carrots

Bok Choy

Kale

Tomatoes

Spinach

Cucumber

Peppers

Mushrooms

Sweet potatoes

Avocado

GRAINS

Oatmeal

FRUIT

Grapes

Blackberries

Cherries

Blueberries

Raspberries

Pomegranate

Blackberries

Spices & foods with Anti inflammatory properties:

Curcumin (Turmeric)

Ginger

Spirulina

Cayenne pepper

Cinnamon

Cloves

Sage

Rosemary

Black pepper

Green tea

Foods to stay away from: Ideally you want foods that keep your insulin levels down or balanced. You don’t want insulin spikes so avoiding processed foods, rice, pasta, canned is best.

Sugar and High-Fructose Corn Syrup, table sugar

Refined Carbohydrates

Vegetable and Seed Oils

Trans Fats

Excessive Alcohol

Unfortunately the exact cause of PCOS is not completely known but what is known is that it is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. It is a condition that affects a woman's hormone levels resulting in the production of higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones.

PCOS can begin shortly after puberty, but usually develops during the later teen years and early adulthood. Because symptoms may be attributed to other causes or go unnoticed, PCOS may go undiagnosed for some time. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs. The follicles keep growing and form multiple "cysts." called Follicular cysts but have been known to go away on their own within 1-3 months.

Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. PCOS causes insulin resistance and inflammation & can be negatively affected by diet, nutrition, lifestyle and exposure to toxins.

Signs of PCOS:

Irregular cycles

Absent period

Abnormal mid-cycle bleeding

Excessive bleeding

Alopecia

Hirsutism (excessive body hair)

Acne

Acanthosis nigricans

Polycystic ovaries

Ovarian cysts

Mood disorders

Obesity/weight gain

Recurrent miscarriage

Supplements that can benefit people with PCOS:

A high quality multivitamin

Greens powder

Vitamin D

Maca powder

Evening primrose oil

Fish oil with an EPA of 900 and a DHA of 600

GDA (Glucose Disposal Agent)

Nutrition: It is important to understand that treating the symptoms of PCOS means reducing insulin resistance, that means changing your dietary habits to help you, help yourself

Eat 5 small meals a day

Balance your protein with equal amounts of carbs

The TYPE of carbs you eat are really important here.. you want whole grain/sprouted grain and you want to avoid processed carbs that spike insulin

Ezekiel bread

Quinoa

Brown rice

Buckwheat

Eat low glycemic index foods that won’t affect insulin as much: So avoid anything “refined”

Kale, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower or ANY coniferous vegetables

Beans/lentils

Grapefruit and apples

Walnuts/almonds

Avoid foods such as: pancake mixes, syrups, sugar, white potatoes, jams, white bread, pasta and soda

Eat high FIBER - “refined’ means it’s basically been stripped of fiber.

Get in plenty of essential fatty acids

High Glycemic Carbs means that it gets converted quickly causing an insulin spike, this is what you want to avoid

Take 1 GDA with every carb meal

Note any food that is refined or white (with the exception of cauliflower) means it has been stripped of ALL nutrients and fibre. Sugar, salt, breads, pasta, rice etc. This is a basic tool when shopping that doesn’t require a lot of effort

A Example Food Day based on 1500 calories - These calories are for a

Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with 1 tbsp coconut oil, spinach, and ½ cup black beans

Snack: unsweetened coconut milk, ½ peach, ¼ tsp cinnamon, hemp or pea protein powder and spirulina (make a smoothie)

Lunch: Organic turkey lettuce wrap (3 oz turkey) with celery sticks and 1/3 cup hummus on the side + 1 serving nuts

Dinner: Organic chicken or salmon (3 oz) with steamed broccoli and ½ cup baked yam

Snack before bed: Organic unsweetened yogurt with ½ cup blueberries and ½ tsp chia seeds + 1 tbsp almond butter

Quantities and macros will vary individually...this is just an example

Since exercise and weight control is a huge benefit to treated and managing PCOS, it is also important to know, what types of exercise is best. The key to controlling PCOS is reducing insulin resistance. Strength training does just that….of course:)

Strength Training increases the size of our skeletal muscle and can enhance the ‘muscles’ ability to manage glucose. Experts agree that these adaptations result in increased insulin sensitivity. Studies have not only observed this change in healthy women, but have also seen type II diabetics improve their insulin sensitivity through regular strength training.

Muscles fight belly fat Your body dislikes belly fat almost as much as you hate seeing it poke out over your jeans. Excess belly fat puts us at risk for PCOS complications like high cholesterol and metabolic syndrome. In an effort to trim the fat, many women gravitate toward exercises like crunches that target the abdominal muscles or worse, diet!! Strength training does a much better job of fighting abdominal fat so they would see better results from a pair of dumbbells and some squats! A University of Pennsylvania study found that overweight or obese women, ages 24–44, who were assigned to an hour of weight training twice a week reduced their proportion of body fat by nearly 4%. I have seen clients with phenomenal results in only ½ hr 3 days per week.

Stress & Cortisol Research has shown that engaging in excessive amounts of HIIT can be counterproductive for women with PCOS so sticking to a whole body strength training program has proven to help relieve symptoms. While there may be concern for testosterone levels with weight training, research has shown that there is no difference in testosterone levels between heavily trained female athletes and sedentary women. Thus, women will not flood their bodies with androgens by taking up strength training. In fact, if regular strength training helps you reduce your insulin resistance, you might even see your androgens normalize a bit.

Even though there is no ultimate “cure”, there are many ways to treat symptoms and even limit them enabling you to live a very full and happy life! Feel free to reach out for a plan designed especially for those just beginning a weight training program!

FOOD LIST

PROTEIN SOURCES

Lean meat is best

Fish

Salmon - wild contains less mercury

Shrimp

Chicken & beef - should be organic simply because of less artificial hormones

Eggs

VEGETABLES - any but green are always best with the exception of cauliflower

Beans

Brussel Sprouts

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Asparagus

Carrots

Bok Choy

Kale

Tomatoes

Spinach

Cucumber

Peppers

Mushrooms

Sweet potatoes

Avocado

GRAINS

Oatmeal

FRUIT

Grapes

Blackberries

Cherries

Blueberries

Raspberries

Pomegranate

Blackberries

Spices & foods with Anti inflammatory properties:

Curcumin (Turmeric)

Ginger

Spirulina

Cayenne pepper

Cinnamon

Cloves

Sage

Rosemary

Black pepper

Green tea

Foods to stay away from: Ideally you want foods that keep your insulin levels down or balanced. You don’t want insulin spikes so avoiding processed foods, rice, pasta, canned is best.

Sugar and High-Fructose Corn Syrup, table sugar

Refined Carbohydrates

Vegetable and Seed Oils

Trans Fats

Excessive Alcohol

Lactose

Limit Milk

Packaged cookies, cakes, pastries

Margarine

Microwave popcorn - unless you add your own REAL butter

French fries

Processed food that lists partially hydrogenated vegetable oil on the label

Vegetable & Seed Oils

Eating refined carbs drives inflammation mainly because they’ve have had most of their fiber removed. Fiber promotes fullness, improves blood sugar control, and feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Researchers suggest that the refined carbs in the modern diet may encourage the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria that can increase your risk of obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. Refined carbs have a higher glycemic index (GI) than unprocessed ones. High-GI foods raise blood sugar more rapidly than low-GI foods.Lactose

Limit Milk

Packaged cookies, cakes, pastries

Margarine

Microwave popcorn - unless you add your own REAL butter

French fries

Processed food that lists partially hydrogenated vegetable oil on the label

Vegetable & Seed Oils

Eating refined carbs drives inflammation mainly because they’ve have had most of their fiber removed. Fiber promotes fullness, improves blood sugar control, and feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Researchers suggest that the refined carbs in the modern diet may encourage the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria that can increase your risk of obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. Refined carbs have a higher glycemic index (GI) than unprocessed ones. High-GI foods raise blood sugar more rapidly than low-GI foods.


This information can all seem overwhelming in the beginning so I urge you to focus on incorporating 1 change at a time. Even though there is no known cure, with small changes over time, the symptoms can be reduced dramatically allowing you more flexibility in your day. Feeling good and energized will be a feeling well worth the change!!


Rhonda



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